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From Optimal Tax Theory to Tax PolicyRetrospective and Prospective Views$
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Robin Boadway

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017114

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017114.001.0001

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Challenges for Second-Best Analysis

Challenges for Second-Best Analysis

(p.185) 5 Challenges for Second-Best Analysis
From Optimal Tax Theory to Tax Policy

Robin Boadway

The MIT Press

This chapter identifies some of the more pressing challenges that normative second-best theory faces. These challenges are largely unresolved, and the intent is not to resolve them, but rather to identify the nature of the challenges and review some of the preliminary approaches that have been used to address them. The chapter begins with a review of some of the fundamental underpinnings that characterize the standard theory, especially the assumptions which are embedded into it. This serves as a starting point for a discussion of some of the more radical critiques of the standard theory and some suggestions for approaches to addressing them.

Keywords:   second-best theory, tax policy, standard theory, policy analysis

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